It’s not me…it’s you

So I watched “The True Cost” on Netflix a couple days ago. And I’m almost finished reading The Soul of Money.  They are both wonderful, and difficult.

Have you ever known that something was a problem, but you didn’t want to think about it, learn about it, dig into it, because you just KNEW you would hate what you found out?

I have known for so many years about how terrible the fashion industry can be. (Notice, I said CAN be- this is important).  I have known in my heart that the only way stores like Kohls and Target and so many others can sell t-shirts for $5 and still make a profit leaves other people hurting.  Seriously, $5 for an article of clothing and you know the company is making a profit.  How is that possible? I hate the answer.

I’m done.  I’m done with “fast fashion”.  I’m done buying brand new clothing for every event, birthday, holiday, etc.  For starters, we have plenty of clothing. We have drawers and drawers and closets and shoe racks, and we have enough.  I have enough clothing.  My kids have enough clothing.

Someone grew the cotton (or other materials)- it matters to me how it was grown.

Someone took the cotton and made it into fabric- it matters to me how this happened

Someone took that fabric and dyed it- the type of dyes and work environment matter to me

Someone sewed that fabric into something- the person who did this matters to me

I am researching, I am learning, and I have so much more to find out.  I want to spend my money like each purchase matters.  As I know more, I will do better.  As I learn more, I will make better choices.  For today- I’m not buying clothing, not until I figure out who I want to invest in, which companies are invested in ALL their people.

It was easier to not think about it.  It was easier to buy cheap clothing, and donate, buy a clearance $3 shirt, buy lots of cute things.  The bigger picture matters to me.  It was easier not to care.

As I learn more, I will be expanding into all areas of my life- food, toys, household goods, etc- and I am really soul searching about what I decide to bring into my home.

I will research, read, learn, watch, and ask lots of questions.  It’s important to me to care, even when I would rather not.  If I don’t care enough to ask questions- I don’t need that item.  I have read articles and opinions supporting sweat shops because, “they would be on the streets, and this is better than nothing”.  I REFUSE to get behind that.  I refuse to support the idea that I am actually helping someone by buying cheap stuff I don’t need.  That idea actually makes me really angry.  This idea that “that’s just the way it is”.  Maybe that’s how it is today, but only because we made it that way, we allowed things to be that way, we don’t have to allow it to continue, I don’t have to continue to participate.

So guys- I’m done.  Goodbye target, goodbye kohls, goodbye gap.  Goodbye to companies that put systems in place to keep themselves from responsibility when bad things happen to those who make their items.  Hello new companies I have yet to discover, hello less junk in my house, hello to learning and growing.

We have been reading the Lorax a lot the last few weeks, it feels timely in the middle of my learning and growing.  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”.

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